Breaking News
0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your Investing.com experience. Save up to 40% More details

After killing Sahel Islamic State leader, France to hunt other chiefs

GlobalSep 16, 2021 13:31
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
2/2 © Reuters. France's President Emmanuel Macron stands speaks during a conference on maritime economy in Nice, France September 14, 2021. Daniel Cole/Pool via REUTERS 2/2

By John Irish and Michel Rose

PARIS (Reuters) -French military forces have killed the leader of a West African affiliate of Islamic State by drone strike in a "decisive blow" against the group, and vowed to continue hunting down jihadist leaders to restore stability in the Sahel.

Adnan Abu Walid al-Sahrawi was the head of Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS), a jihadist group that broke away from other militants in Mali in 2015 when it pledged allegiance to Islamic State.

Since then, ISGS militants have spread into neighbouring Burkina Faso and Niger, carried out hundreds of deadly attacks on civilians and armed forces, and rendered large areas of West Africa's arid Sahel region ungovernable.

"The death of Sahrawi is a decisive blow to ISGS and its cohesion," French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly told reporters.

Sahrawi had been tracked by French counter-terrorism forces in northern Mali, and then killed by a drone strike while riding a motorbike in mid-August, she said.

France estimates the group is responsible for the deaths of 2,000-3,000 people, mostly Muslims, and that it still has hundreds of fighters, although Parly said its leadership was now less international and more from the local Fulani tribe.

Sahrawi targeted U.S. soldiers in a deadly attack in 2017, Macron's office said. In August 2020, he personally ordered the killing of six French charity workers and their Nigerian driver, France said.

Paris has started reshaping its 5,000-strong Barkhane mission to include more European partners and earlier this month began redeploying from bases in northern Mali.

France has launched a diplomatic offensive to stop the Malian junta from agreeing a deal to enlist Russian mercenaries, which Paris has said would be incompatible with its presence in Mali.

The strike on Sahrawi, which comes just two months after the death of Abubakar Shekau, the leader of Nigeria's Boko Haram, follows other hits on ISGS's senior ranks, that have been weakened by recent targeted operations that have killed five of its seven top leaders.

Yet the group remains dangerous and has carried out a series of deadly attacks on civilians, especially in Niger, where casualties have risen sharply this year.

"We have no information on a successor at this stage, but it probably won't be easy to find a leader who has the same weighting than the one who was killed," Parly said.

Bernard Emie, head of France's external intelligence service, told reporters there would now be increased focus on neutralising Iyad Ag Ghaly, the head of al-Qaeda's north African wing, whose group has carried out sporadic operations around the Ivory Coast and Senegalese border regions.

"The death of Sahrawi will likely disrupt ISGS operations in the short-term," said Alexandre Raymakers, senior Africa analyst at risk intelligence company Verisk Maplecroft. "But it is unlikely to permanently cripple the extremist group."

After killing Sahel Islamic State leader, France to hunt other chiefs
 

Related Articles

Russia shuts mission to NATO in spy row retaliation
Russia shuts mission to NATO in spy row retaliation By Reuters - Oct 18, 2021

MOSCOW (Reuters) -Russia said on Monday it would halt the activities of its diplomatic mission to NATO after the Western military alliance expelled eight Russians saying they were...

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind: 

  • Enrich the conversation
  • Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed.
  • Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically.
  •  Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and links within a comment will be removed
  • Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user.
  • Don’t Monopolize the Conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also believe strongly in giving everyone a chance to air their thoughts. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email